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Stop Whining, Start Blogging


Don’t want to blog? We don’t CARE! (Ok, we do care, but hear us out). It doesn’t matter if you don’t like blogging. You HAVE to do it anyways! Blogging is one of the MOST effective things you can do to promote your business online.

– Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages in Google than those that do not.
– Marketers who use blogs get 67% more leads that those that don’t.
– 47% of buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before purchasing or contacting a company.

And in order to help you, we’ve officially launched our newest class, “Stop Whining, Start Blogging”. We’re sharing some of our biggest blogging secrets and walking you step-by-step through our best practices to guarantee you’ll be successful!  Click here to learn more about this class.



By C. Alexander Chiulli

As employment lawyers, we are often asked questions related to the classification of employees as exempt versus non-exempt, as well as for guidance in navigating the many federal and state laws and regulations concerning the payment of wages to employees. Rhode Island employers should regularly review their wage and hour practices to ensure compliance with the ever-changing legal landscape relative to these issues. The following reminders highlight aspects of federal and state wage and hour laws and regulations that employers should take into careful consideration.

Major Changes to Federal Overtime Regulations. With few exceptions, hourly workers must be paid time and one-half their regular pay rate for all hours worked over forty in a workweek as well as for time worked on Sundays and holidays. This rule does not apply, however, to certain exempt employees, such as those holding executive, administrative, or professional positions as defined under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, so long as they are paid a minimum base salary. Starting December 1, 2016, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) will significantly increase the minimum salary for many exempt employees, such that most workers earning $47,476 or less per year will be eligible for overtime wages. This increase more than doubles the present threshold of $23,660 per year. According to the DOL, the rule change will supply increased pay to approximately 4.2 million workers nationwide upon its implementation. Rhode Island employers should therefore proactively evaluate whether their employees will be exempt or non-exempt from overtime pay in advance of this forthcoming change.

Minimum Wage: Effective since January 1, 2016, Rhode Island’s General Assembly raised the state’s minimum wage to $9.60 per hour. As of January 1, 2017, the minimum wage for employees receiving gratuities will increase to $5.71 per hour. Relatedly, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (“DLT”) strictly enforces employers’ compliance with hour and wage laws. Rhode Island employers must consequently pay increased attention to determining and correctly paying employees’ wages.

Timekeeping. The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training also mandates that records be kept by employers for all employees, whether salaried or not. It is thus essential that employers keep accurate and detailed daily and weekly time records for all employees for no less than three years in order to comply with Rhode Island regulations.

Breaks. Unless subject to an exception, employees must be given a thirty-minute meal period for every eight hours worked and a twenty-minute meal break for every six hours worked. During a regular shift that is less than six hours long, employers are not required to provide coffee or other breaks.

Pay days. Under Rhode Island law, employees must be paid weekly, and pay days must fall within nine days of the end of a payroll period. To be excused from the weekly requirement, employers must file a petition with the DLT. The Director of DLT may then permit payment of employees less frequently under specific circumstances, such as if: (a) the employer’s average payroll exceeds 200% of the state minimum wage; (b) the employer pays wages on a preset date at least twice per month; and (c) the employer provides surety in the amount of the highest biweekly payroll exposure in the preceding year.

It is vitally important for Rhode Island employers to ensure compliance with the various wage and hour laws and regulations, as violations may result in claims or lawsuits by employees, as well as investigations and potential civil money penalties imposed by government agencies. As always, when in doubt, please contact a seasoned professional to assist.

Artists for the Bay Show & Sale to showcase local art and jewelry on December 1

PROVIDENCE – November 15, 2016 – Save The Bay’s annual Artists for the Bay Art Show & Sale Opening Reception will be held from 6­–8:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 1 at the Bay Center in Providence. Creative works by more than 45 local artisans, painters, sculptors and jewelers will be on display and on sale, with 50 percent of sales benefiting Save The Bay’s advocacy, education and restoration work. Guests will find a wide variety of artwork in the gallery ranging from elegant seascapes to beautiful handcrafted jewelry, priced from $25 to $500, making this a well-timed holiday shopping opportunity. Tickets are $35 and include an evening of live music and local food and beverages, including Fire Works Catering, Bottles Fine Wine, Foolproof Brewing Company, D’licious Desserts, Keel Vodka, Rhody Roasters Coffee and others. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the door.

“The Artists for the Bay Show & Sale is in its eighth year and continues to support Save The Bay’s fundraising efforts in a celebration of local artists,” said Leanne Danielsen, Save The Bay events manager. “The opening reception is a very festive night when supporters can enjoy so many skilled artists, jewelers and artisans from all over the state.”

Artists for the Bay Show and Sale is generously sponsored by Avalon Trust, and supported as well by StoneRidge Senior Community, Starkweather & Shepley, and Mott & Chace Sotheby’s of Barrington. “The generous support of our sponsors is critical to sustaining Save The Bay’s mission to protect and improve Narragansett Bay,” Danielsen said.

“At Avalon Trust, we believe in actively supporting the causes that are important to our clients, employees and community,” said Avalon Trust CEO, Andrew Wallerstein. “We applaud the local artisans who donate their time and talents to Artists for the Bay and are honored to play a role in this wonderful event that supports Save The Bay’s vital work in making Narragansett Bay the regional treasure it is.”

Special Save The Bay coasters in several local pubs, restaurants and breweries, including Trinity Brewhouse, Bucket Brewery, The Avery, Malted Barley, Thee Red Fez and others, can be brought to the art show for a special gift. The Artists for the Bay Art Show & Sale runs through Jan. 31 with a closing ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 28 from 1 – 3 p.m. Community members are invited to the Save The Bay Center to look at and purchase artwork during normal business hours between Dec. 2 and Jan. 31.

Local artists and jewelers can continue to submit work for this juried show through Monday, Nov. 14. For more information, to purchase tickets and/or submit artwork, contact Leanne Danielsen at or 272-3540, ext. 140, or visit



WARREN, RI– Look no further than Rhode Island’s East Bay for that one-of-a-kind gift for that one-of-a- kind-person this year – and have fun doing it!

The East Bay Chamber, in collaboration with the Barrington Business Association, Discover Warren, and the Bristol Merchants Association, has coordinated a tri-town shop local campaign, which kicks off on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26, with the East Bay Holiday Shopping Express. Two festive trolleys will circulate the downtown hubs of Bristol, Warren and Barrington, taking shoppers to the hottest retailers and restaurants in the East Bay.

This year, we’ve expanded our trolley run times. Shoppers can get off and on the trolleys from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with no cost to ride. Trolley stops and parking locations can be found on our website, Our main starting point will be Gooding Plaza in Bristol, next to People’s Credit Union on Gooding Avenue.

New this year is our East Bay Passport to Savings. This convenient book is loaded with savings, coupons and discounts to over 50 local merchants. These Passport deals are good through the entire holiday season, with offers expiring on Dec. 31, 2016.

Make sure to mark your calendars and grab your friends and family. Get your shopping done in three, two, one… Three towns, two trolleys, one day!

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